CARBONDALE, IL -
New Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn calls the student run Daily Egyptian newspaper a huge reason why the school of journalism is one of SIU's signature programs, but the program may be on life support while the Board of Trustees debates a media fee for all students.
When SIU junior Sarah Jrdner was making her college choice she says there was one major factor that set Southern Illinois University apart.
"I found out about the Daily Egyptian and I knew that I wanted to work there," said Sarah Jrdner. "I started hanging out in the newsroom as a freshman and a couple of upperclassmen and I was hired within a few months."
However director of journalism Bill Frievogel says the newspaper that draws students like Jrdner to SIU is losing about $200,000 per year.
"A lot of newspapers around the country are facing similar problems," said SIU Director of Journalism Bill Frievogel. "In 2006 the revenues of the Daily Egyptian from advertising were a million dollars. This past year they were 550-thousand dollars."
After tabling a $9 student media and intercollegiate athletic fee that could have helped the program, the Board of Trustees floated the idea to Frievogel that the Daily Egyptian be online only, but he says that would only make the situation worse.
"Instead of saving money it would lose money," said Frievogel. "Print ads bring in about 10 times as much revenue as online ads so you can't raise enough money."
President Randy Dunn pledged to fund the program through the summer, but for students like Jrdner that's not enough.
"Those are short-term solutions and we need something long-term and just putting a band aid on it isn't going to fix the problem," said Jrdner.
The students and staff at the newspaper are also asking that you email President Dunn's office to show your support for the program.